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LOVE, PASSION, INSPIRATION AND OUR WEDDINGS

Let’s talk about … Aspects to consider before you contract your the right catering provider.

Now that you have found your wedding venue, next element on your list, is to make sure you get a capable catering company to cover all the food and drink needs of your wedding day.

Where do you begin? A good start is to congratulate yourself for having the freedom to choose. Often venues come with their own in-house catering and you have no choice but to accept them, if you want the venue. Just like marrying your lovely partner but having to put up with the annoying in-laws.

If you are in this situation, there is really little you can do at this stage. You are stuck with them for good and for bad. Finger crossed is good.

Remember that if you have not laid down the deposit on the venue yet, you can still taste the food before you do so. Ask for a menu tasting appointment and decide afterwards. Many contractors allow this as it is totally understandable. You are not only choosing a place where to marry but also the food and drinks of your wedding. Just bear in mind you may be charged for the tasting.

You wouldn’t buy a car without test driving it, would you? If after the menu tasting you are not convinced just inform them and walk away. Feedback is what make this industry better each year.

So, let’s go back to having the choice, now that you feel lucky, let me help you a little bit with your choice.

These are some aspects that perhaps you did not think about them.

Local is better.

Check catering companies nearby your venue. A 50 km radius is a good starting point.  Often catering companies charge you a fee for transportation, so if you have a decent choice of caterers locally why paying extra. Only choose a distant caterer when you are ready to face this extra cost or the quality made the whole thing worthwhile.

Menu prices.

Most catering companies usually charge through a menu price. They charge from 50 to 150 or above per person. So, a wedding of 100 people at 100 euros menu per person costs 10k. Simple. But what does the menu price include? Is the open bar included? How many hours and what drinks? Does it include chairs and tables? Which type? After dinner snacks?…

Venue Fee for caterings.

This one is one of those costs that annoys people the most. You have your beautiful venue and have managed to find a catering to match your needs, and then this happens. Your venue charges a fee to your catering company for working during your wedding day. Really? Yes! But that is only part of the story. Your catering may not accept that charge and will force you to pay for it. So be alert, you could be looking at anything from 400 euros to 600 euros.

Contracted Service Hours.

Catering companies usually work for hours. From beginning to end, they have a specific number of hours allocate to your wedding. Staring on your cocktail and finishing with your open bar. Pass that limit and you could incur in extra charge for over time services. So, make sure, you know your time allocation before your wedding day and if you are going to need more hours of service negotiate them in advance to avoid surprises.

Menu Tastings

This is an important meeting in order to define the role of the catering company during your wedding. Check menus in advance and inform them what you would like to try, food and drink wise. Examine all the options, table clothes, chairs, cutlery, glasses… Remember to stay focus and ask all the questions. You don’t want to drink too much wine and then miss on this opportunity to nail everything down.

The truth is that booking the right catering company is often not an easy decision. Most clients don’t have the time or budget to be tasting menus from different companies, so they usually go with the 1st choice they try. They make their choice based on popularity which is not a consistent factor. Usually caterings which offer a great product, drop in quality after becoming popular. So, what is good one day, next year is appalling.  In addition, the menu tasting is designed specially to hide any flaws on the service and by the time you realise there is an issue is too late on the process to fix it.

We at The Boutique Wedding Co. carry out extensive research on catering companies and assist our clients all the way through the process to make sure every aspect is under control. We attend menu tastings to help each couple to make the right choices, and only work with the best people in the industry.

 

 

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Amanda and Jason´s Big Wedding Weekend was a true international affair. Planned across 3 continents no less and guests from all around the globe! We started their wedding weekend with some fun Games and Challenges for the Groom, a Traditional Chinese Tea ceremony celebrated with a fantastic Tapas and Paella dinner with bespoke Sherry station by the Pool and a Flamenco extravaganza !

Saturday was the day for their White Wedding. A relaxed affair with lots of cute Spanish elements, plush florals and hundreds of candles. Complimented by amazing food, a simple white cake decorated with natural flowers and a Ferrero Rocher Tower! All in all these elements perfected their dream of a perfect wedding weekend in Spain!

Amanda and Jason´s wedding Video At Fain Viejo by Evergreen Films.

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Welcome to our Let’s talk… Section!

With experience, comes knowledge and being a member of the wedding industry in Spain for many years, has given me an advantage point to see things the way they REALLY are. In this Lets talk section, I’m going to talk about all those things that otherwise have little chance of finding out, until it is too late! The things that perhaps might not seem important when planning your wedding, but nevertheless you should be aware off just in case they end up affecting your plans.

This is the section that will help you understand the difference between Venues/Caterers that offer to plan your wedding and an actual Wedding planner, why you should have two sets of chairs, why do the catering charge extra for delays on your dinner, or how venues sell their services. All aspects that will affect you, when you contract any professional Wedding services.

My name is Jesus and I look after all the logistics at the Boutique Wedding Co. I am the person in charge of making sure everything is in place so Lucy can work her magic and make your wedding look beautiful!

My only goal on writing these articles is to share a bit of inside knowledge with those who have the time to pay attention to the smaller details. I completely respect the work of every professional in this industry, as long as they understand who they work for and who is most important… the Wedding couples.

 

Let’s talk about … the right venue!

The 1st thing you are going to think about when planning a wedding anywhere in the world is your Wedding Venue. It is without a doubt one of the most important elements of your wedding. For some couples, the most important thing. The venue is the place where you plan to make it all happen. It is the location that is going to be a part of your memories for eternity!

There are many types of Wedding Venues old, new, elegant, posh, rustic, modern, comfortable, luxurious… but they all have one thing in common. Wedding Venues are designed to make you fall in love with them. At least the good ones are! Once you fall in love with it, the dreams start to take form and there is no stopping you. I have seen it so many times in the eyes of our brides. Sometimes our grooms as well.

Unfortunately, Wedding venues are a business and they don´t live in our Wedding dreamland. Quite the opposite in fact, they survive in a ruthless market with voracious competition, where numbers are everything and each wedding contracted is an important sale.

Only in Malaga province there are hundreds of them. They come in all shapes…Hotels with luxurious salons, and pools surrounded by palms trees. Palaces or mansions. Restaurants with great decor and an amazing food. Private villas with the best views which will give you a taste of how millionaires live…

But regardless of the type of Wedding Venue, they all want to convince you that they are the right venue for your wedding.

With that goal in mind, many venues employ sales teams to enhance their numbers. They are the people that first show you around and you misjudge as the venue manager. I like to call them, Venue Sales managers as that is a much more accurate title for their job. They work almost exclusively on a commission scheme and they oversee achieving the necessary number of events each year as any other business.

So here comes the problem, with popularity comes success and with success, over selling. So in reality some venues book as many weddings as they possibly can. During high season, sometimes 5 times a week. Some venues with different event areas, might hold 2 or more weddings at the same time. Other venues without the size, will try 2 in a day. One in the morning and one in the evening. They might even lock you in an area so the later party can access the venue. I find that utterly hilarious.

Since most people wish to marry on a Fridays and Saturdays, venues expect a minimum spend for those days and don’t give them away for a small event. Otherwise they charge a fixed fee to compensate for not qualifying for their minimum.

I remember once, I contacted a venue by the beach in the Cadiz area. I asked them about their availability, and they asked me about numbers. When I explained that my clients wanted a small intimate wedding of no more than 80 people, they claimed that that was not a wedding… and that, they reserve the right to hold another event the same day at the same time to compensate for my small event. I felt like I was giving them a problem and not a business opportunity. Fortunately, at the Boutique Wedding Co. we do not work with people who do not understand the value of our product. So I wished them luck with their business and hung up the phone.

With this amount of business each year, the venue premises suffer dramatically making it complicated to even maintain it to high standards. It is common sense that no place is going to look the same after hosting 150 parties, no matter how hard your gardener and cleaner work. That is why venue sales manager prefer to show you the venue during low season, preferably before high season starts.

If you think this is not the case, next time you are seeing a venue, just ask how many weddings they organize a year and see how the face of the Venue Sales manager changes. Don´t worry he/she will keep it reasonable, so you don’t run away. Next, look for signs of decay and imagine how is going to look the day of your wedding, if there is another wedding booked the day before.

Thankfully this is not the case for every venue. There are some Wedding venues who protect their product and understand that long term is more important than short term. That sales teams are less imperative than a venue manager who cares about his product. They cap their numbers and contract a venue team who maintain everything in pristine condition. These are the Weddign Venues that we choose to work with!

Lets be honest if the venue is beautiful, it sells by itself.

So, next time you are sitting down in a venue considering whether it is the one for you, and you feel you are being sold too, perhaps too aggressively, with videos, photos and presentations, think about this post and do one thing, enjoy the cava and keep smiling!

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